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  #1  
Old 08-10-2010, 10:37 PM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

From the country music thread:

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Originally Posted by Deathmetalconga View Post
It is refreshing to discuss country. Metal and jazz are the two most popular genres to discuss here, but they aren't nearly as popular as country among the masses. Yet, hardly anyone ever discusses country much on this board. It's like our tastes and the audience's tastes are completely reversed. We want to play most what they don't care to listen to, and they want us to play most we we don't care to play. Go figure.

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
If we all played for the masses, this wouldn't be Drummer World, it would be Drum-Programing-World. :-P

I think part of being a musicians is an appreciation for what many others do not appreciate.

But I suppose that's a different thread altogether.

How true. One of the first things that roped me into this site was being able to talk about King Crimson and people had not only heard of them but had a strong knowledge of their music. Such a classic example of a musos' band. I've never been to one of their gigs but I imagine it would be full of nerdy male musicians. They never toured Oz unfortunately ... I like nerds so I might have enjoyed more than just a musical smorgasbord :)

That's a big part of it IMO - a lot of people aren't male and they aren't musos. They are delighted by things most experienced players were doing as noobs and have "progressed beyond". Fair enough too IMO, given that music wasn't always "on stage" and there was less a sense of "audience" than people with other roles in a general pow-wow.

Music was originally functional rather than just art - rhythms for communication, songs to pass down history, invoking spirits, psyching people up to war, group bonding. Now we have music for dancing, as background, to set the scene for sex, to relax, to stimulate.

Still, it's inhibiting at times. Most of the best paid gigs out there are for covers, with originals bands being poor cousins. Yet objectively, the cover songs are *usually* better written with more visceral appeal than the originals.

Many of us are like wine connoisseurs, unable to appreciate the Chateau de Cardborde that may be much loved by the guy with Donald Duck tie or a woman resplendent in the synthetic print blouse the colour of post-pizza vomit. The food critic will find intolerable what the starving consider sheer heaven.

You don't demand Perrier bottled water if you're lost in the desert and you don't need modal shifts at 7/8 after spending a week at the beck and call of an obsessive corporate sociopath.

Ain't insomnia wonderful? :)
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:42 AM
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

32 views, no replies. Is it a matter of "Don't mention the war!!"?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xnNhzgcWTk
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:48 AM
jer jer is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

I am a piece,
I am a pawn.
I am a soldier in a battle I didn't start.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:48 AM
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

Polly, I read your post twice and I'm simply lost!
I'll have to call Phil the bass player in his crate on the ship and ask him.
I left his cell phone in the box when I packed him up and sent him to you.

I hate 80% of the music that I play with bands!
My biggest challenge is to stay awake at gigs sometimes.

No band ever wants to play the music that I like and no audience will ever like the music that I like.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:03 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

I think it's only natural that musicians would appreciate a much wider spectrum of music than the general population because music means a lot more to them. For a lot of people nowadays, music is much more of a popularity thing than it has been in the past. People love some hit pop song when it first comes out, but six months down the road they toss it aside like yesterday's garbage. Couldn't care less about it. It differs from my parents generation, who still enjoy listening to the music of Motown, or classic rock artists like Hendrix, The Stones, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac,and tons more, not to mention the great soul music on the Stax label. People nowadays, within my age range and younger, just don't seem to really care about the popular music of their time once it isn't popular anymore.

Here is an interesting interview with one of my all-time favorite musicians, Tito Puente. He makes an interesting point about the rise in popularity of the Mambo (or Salsa, as people call it today - Tito didn't like that term) and the fact that it's the same thing he's been playing for 40 years. He just played what he loved and let the people come to him.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdSambP6XyE
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Last edited by Michael McDanial; 08-11-2010 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

Hahaha...

Well, I guess I did say I suppose that's a different thread altogether. I knew Polly might get a kick out of my little comment, I didn't think she's take me literally!

I think our friend DMC makes a valid point, I just couldn't help myself to leave a tongue in cheek comment, that, of course, as a bunch of truth to it.

I've always liked what I liked, and not liked what I don't like. I never cared if the band was local, obscure, or wildly popular. In Jr High, I often got teased for my musical tastes, and I still do to this day (just ask my wife!).

I think Michael McDanial nailed it with "it's only natural that musicians would appreciate a much wider spectrum of music than the general population because music means a lot more to them." I find that's true.

I was surprised how many negative comments were in KIS's classic rock thread. I've always found drummers can be the one who can discuss big band or jazz one minute and turn around and discuss a hard rock band the next. But I can't point the finger, because I have plenty of hates/dislikes myself (and a few have bitten me in the rear in the long run).

But overall, the point being I don't think many people become drummers to become pop stars. They may want to make a living or be recognized in their music genres of choice (being just one genre or several), but it's pretty clear if most us wanted to please the most people, we'd all be writing songs for Britney Spears or Eminem, or whomever the next pop star is rather than working on our best jazz/metal/blues/prog/whatever it is that makes each one of us tick.

Of course, it wasn't always this way. In the 60's, you could be a drummer AND a pop star at the same time, but drums are pretty rare in top 40 anymore.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:24 AM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

Jer, it's a mild irritant that we have to compromise so much but I wouldn't exactly call it war :) I get your gist, though ... the scene is a lot bigger than us pawns ...

Bob, which bits lost you the most? I can provide translation services.

And stop trying to foist your unwanted bass player on me - I've already dealt with BBT (bad bass trauma) from the band I joined after starting playing again 8 years of non-music. I can't afford the psychiatrist fees for another emotional detox!

Michael, I relate to that. I still love my old faves. Trouble is a lot of them aren't the old faves of others of my generation. Will check the link later today.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:39 PM
jer jer is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

Looking at music as a form of communication, not everyone uses the same vocabulary.

As a generalization, non-musos might not have the same understanding of some of the bigger words we use sometimes, so we dumb it down to increase the listeners ability to understand what we are saying.

If the listener doesn't understand what you are "saying", they won't be able to make a personal connection with the music and the communication is lost. Consider for example, the number of people that don't appreciate instrumental music; it's typically the content of the lyrics that stirs emotion in such folks, not a well placed note run, a complex poly-rhythm or an added 7th to create dissonance.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

Bridging the gap between musicians and the audience...I'm not sure it can be done. There will alway be an us and them in a way.
Imagine hearing a song, and not picking it apart. That's what non musicians do. It's like we can see things they can't when it comes to music. You can't fully explain vision to a blind person. That gap is essential IMO. It's what makes us who we are, and what makes them what they are.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:31 PM
aydee aydee is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

We are wierd.

We like stuff regular folk dont. When we listen to a song, we listen for bass parts, and riffs, we hear the chord progressions..and triplets and flams..

we wonder what we might have played in a certain place, or what could have been played instead - - in other words, we are mostly incapable of listening to a song quite like a non musician.

So there you have it.

...
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:03 PM
phfreq phfreq is online now
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

Here are some quotes that come to my mind when thinking about this..

-- Everybody is different.
-- No man is an island.
-- Sometimes we just do what we _need_ to do even if we don't like it.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:11 PM
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BrewBillfold BrewBillfold is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

I missed the country thread somehow. I like country and have played a fair amount of it professionally. It would actually be one of my first choices at this point for a "hired gun" type gig. I'd rather play commercial country than commercial rock or pop, traditional jazz with a bunch of purists (we'd strangle each other due to personality issues anyway), etc.

Anyway, I just wanted to chime in with this: In my opinion, the sign of a musician who has really progressed far is that the musician can appreciate the more subtle-but-just-as-skilled artistry of musicians like Eddie Bayers (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Bayers) and Dann Huff (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dann_Huff) or songwriters like Anthony Smith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Smith_(singer)) and Mark Bacino (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Bacino), just as much as they appreciate whatever more conspicuously flashy or unusual playing or songwriting they dig.

Misunderstanding the skill involved with that other stuff is one of the sources of there being so many youtube videos of musicians trying to tackle some fingers-flying part but apparently not being able to groove or play with much feel at all. It's the reasons that drummers like Phil Rudd tend to engender dismissive comments. I guess it just takes many years of experience as a musician to finally be able to hear just how hard it is to do what someone like Rudd does. It's hard because of the subtleties of it--the feel of his playing, the way he can groove. Musicians just starting out tend to overlook those things and get wrapped up in stuff that's far easier to notice. The irony, though, is that many people who aren't musicians seem to respond to those subtleties on more of a gut instinct level. They don't know anything about music on a technical level, so they're not distracted by the easy to notice stuff there, I suppose.

Which isn't to dismiss busier playing. But the good busy players are the ones who understand the skill and artistry of the simpler stuff. It's not about how many notes you're playing--how many OR how few (just as many folks mistake playing simpler for playing better, just because it's simpler). It's about how you're playing them.
Quote:
Most of the best paid gigs out there are for covers, with originals bands being poor cousins.
That I find disheartening. I find it frustrating that so many folks--many musicians included--want to just keep rehashing the same old stuff. I need more variety than that.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:13 PM
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Deltadrummer Deltadrummer is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
You don't demand Perrier bottled water if you're lost in the desert and you don't need modal shifts at 7/8 after spending a week at the beck and call of an obsessive corporate sociopath.

Ain't insomnia wonderful? :)
Pol, I am starting to worry about your bouts of insomnia. I think you should see a doctor, or perhaps a shrink. lol

I really understand what you are saying here, as a guy who has worked many an odd job and many a working stiffs day. You come home and may not want music that is going to activate your sense organs, but just something to relax you. Allman Brothers were good at that and maybe finding a good balance.

I've long tired of the musos line. Sometimes I get off the stage with my jazz band and they're playing an old Bob Seger of Tom Petty song where the drummer is laying down a great groove, and I think man that's some great playing right there. We really suck.

I love your bit about the functionality of music. There are the Dave Grohl and Danny Carey but most of the guys I know doing this for a living work eight days a week at a variety of jobs and sometimes have to pass the hat.

In the 1990s I did a songwriters bit, playing open mics and rainy night houses. It was a great time.
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Last edited by Deltadrummer; 08-11-2010 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:19 PM
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BrewBillfold BrewBillfold is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

By the way, Polly, I never realized that KC hasn't toured Australia. That is a bummer. If I were you, I would have taken a trip to some other country to see them at some point, lol.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:31 PM
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

In my mind, the focus isn't on the instrument. It's on what the instrument can achieve.
Communication or reflection of some form of common human emotion I would hope.

Imagine aliens coming across some black death speed metal music and having only that to judge us by... what would be their impression?

"Let's take their planet" lolol!

.................................................. .................................................. ...Runs for cover
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Old 08-12-2010, 02:47 AM
Michael McDanial Michael McDanial is offline
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

Quote:
Originally Posted by aydee View Post
We are wierd.

We like stuff regular folk dont. When we listen to a song, we listen for bass parts, and riffs, we hear the chord progressions..and triplets and flams..

we wonder what we might have played in a certain place, or what could have been played instead - - in other words, we are mostly incapable of listening to a song quite like a non musician.

So there you have it.

...
Funny, but very true. A lot of times when I listen to a song I love a certain part done by an instrument that you're average listener would think nothing of, and most of the time look at you like "what's the big deal?" I also love hearing things that I find I can incorporate into my own playing.

There's just some things that I really enjoy in a song that most people could care less about. For example, when listening to the song "The State of Massachusetts" by Dropkick Murphys, I LOVE the way they use the banjo in that song. It just fits so well. I love the song as well :)

Most of the rock bands I listen to nowadays tend to be groups like Dropkick Murphys or Flogging Molly, or other bands that use a wide range of instruments. I've grown really tired of the nothing but guitar, bass, and drums format.

The thing is we musicians pay attention to/notice things in music that your average listener doesn't, but it's very similar to any other situation when talking about somebody's field of work and or hobby or whatever they have a particular passion for. As an example, I work in education. If you had a group of teachers having a conversation about their jobs, a lot of it would go over people's heads. The same would go for a group of construction workers talking about their jobs, or (insert field of work).

I don't make my living playing music, but music is a passion for me and always will be :)
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Last edited by Michael McDanial; 08-12-2010 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:07 AM
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Default Re: Bridging the taste gap between musiscians and audiences

During my long hiatus I not only stopped playing but was getting my creative jollies elsewhere and I stopped identifying as a musician entirely. That really changed the way I listened to music, which had always been that analytical thing people have talked about. I have seen the Other Side ...

What did I see?

Way-out stuff like Crimson became unattractive to me (BTW Brew, I got into KC in 1975, just after the first split and was too wedded to the old-style KC to appreciate the early 80s version - now my fave - until they'd broken up too).

During that period, these elements of music had appeal to me:

1. Old favourites / familiar songs

2. Songs that related to what was happening in my life at the time or at least captured the mood

3. Songs with strong visceral appeal - emotions, moods, atmosphere, grooves, melodies, sounds and riffs.

Sometimes a small inflection by the vocalist in one moment would really hit the spot, even though the chances are that is was either accidental or throwaway for the singer.

Funny how things affect people. One time I played a gig and a woman told me afterwards how she loved my djembe in Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. It's probably the most simple, nothing djembe playing ever.

It's a bit like when we were children; some silly throwaway comment by an adult stays with us all our lives, while what they probably thought were profound life lessons went in one ear and out the other.

I try to resist my muso-nerd impluse and remember how to listen like a noob - like a child - but it's getting further away from me every day now ...
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